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Review: Dead Man (1995)

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Johnny Depp playing a quiet accountant, turned cold-blooded killer. That’s really all you need to know about Dead Man.

This slow paced western follows Depp’s character to the west where he was offered a job. However, a misunderstanding finds him out of a job, and later bedding a former prostitute. Here is where he finds trouble. He ends up killing a man, and gets the blame for another so he must run away. A large native American, Nobody is then befriended, as Depp learns his tough guy side. The transformation is slow, but very evident.

Honestly, if any other director was doing this film, the plot would last 40 minutes, but Jaramusch stretches it out to feature length by slowing the action down. The music fits the pace perfectly, and makes the entire mood of the movie feel like a White Stripes music video. I’ve read many forums online about Dead Man, and I agree with alot of them. For one, the movie seems to show the slow process of dying. The closer it gets, the more you just want it to be over with. Secondly, the film almost made me fall asleep several times, but not for it being boring, but only for the mood it creates as Depp slowly falls asleep in several scenes.

Obviously, it is not a movie for the masses, but I really thought it was a good example in pacing. And of course, having Depp as the leading character doesn’t hurt either.

My Rating: B


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